In what was a shocking development for many, it was reported on Monday that Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has requested permission to seek a trade after contract negotiations stalled with the team.
Ekeler carries a $7.75 million cap hit this season and if the Chargers were to trade him they would free up $6.25 million, according to Over the Cap. With Ekeler's struggles running between the tackles last season, it is probably best for the Bolts to try and move on after his agent made this public.
Ekeler has the most touchdowns in the NFL over the last two years and has a relatively doable cap hit with only one year under contact so there will naturally be suitors for him on the market. Some make more sense than others.
4 teams that could trade for Chargers' RB Austin Ekeler:
1. New England Patriots
Austin Ekeler just screams New England Patriot, doesn't he? Shifty receiving backs have made careers out in New England and he would be just the kind of weapon that Mac Jones currently does not have in the offense.
New England has the cap space to make it happen and just picked up an extra late-round pick by trading Jonnu Smith to the Falcons. Instead of signing free agent Damien Harris to a multi-year deal, the Patriots may prefer taking just one year of Ekeler to give Jones a much-needed pass-catching threat.
Ekeler really does seem like the perfect Patriot. They have not been shy in bringing in former Chargers in the past (Adrian Phillips, Hunter Henry and we go way back, Rodney Harrison and Junior Seau). Perhaps Ekeler could be the latest to join that list.